Originally Posted by First
And that was after he grew two inches and put on 40 pounds from his senior year at Springs Valley High School! He was 6-8, 185 pounds or so, and he looked like a skinny JV player. But he could play! See below from Seth Davis on Larry at IU as a freshman.
The start of classes only intensified Larry Bird’s feelings of isolation. Here he was, a poor, sheltered, intensely introverted teenager who had barely set foot outside his hometown of fewer than three thousand people, and he was stuck without any friends on a campus of more than thirty thousand undergraduates. He couldn’t get over the fact that he had to walk several miles just to get to class. And, as he often said half-jokingly, “I ain’t no genius in school.”
If he thought he might get some emotional support from the coaches, that notion was quickly dispelled as well. One night, while walking down the street with Jan Condra, who had also enrolled at Indiana, at Larry’s behest, and her sister, Larry looked up and saw Knight walking toward them. He stiffened and readied himself to speak to his head coach for the first time since arriving on campus. Knight walked toward Bird; Bird said hello — and Knight blew by without saying a word. “Larry didn’t say anything, but I could tell with his demeanor that his feelings were hurt,” Condra says. “Larry was used to people being a lot nicer to him. He didn’t like Coach Knight’s personality.”
Bobby Knight would later regret treating Larry Bird so coldly. “Larry Bird is one of my great mistakes,” he said. “I was negligent in realizing what Bird needed at that time in his life.”
Seth Davis on Larry Bird and Bobby Knight - Inside the Hall | Indiana Hoosiers Basketball News, Recruiting and Analysis